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2016

By Heather R. Johnson.

 

EmployeeFatigue_Body.jpgAmericans work longer hours, take less vacation time, and retire later than ever before. Our overstressed, overburdened, overconnected society also doesn’t get enough sleep, which makes those extended hours less productive.

 

A recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than a third of American adults don’t get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep each night. Regularly sleeping less than seven hours a day is associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

 

In the office, sleep-deprived employees have a harder time concentrating and learning and retaining information. These same employees miss work more often due to illness and injury than their rested colleagues. Harvard research shows sleep deprivation costs United States businesses $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.

 

To keep employee engagement at its peak, it makes sense to ensure employees arrive to work rested. “There's nothing worse than feeling exhausted,” says sleep expert Christopher Lindholst, CEO of Restworks, which provides napping installations for businesses. “Showing your employees some understanding and providing a support solution will reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism,” the condition where employees are at the office but doing less than optimal work.

 

Following these simple solutions can help to promote restfulness among your employees. As an added benefit, you may improve your own sleep habits.

 

1. Offer flexible schedules

Allow employees to occasionally work from home or work around rush-hour traffic or school drop-off or pick-up times. This helps reduce stress and creates more opportunity for productivity-boosting rest.

 

EmployeeFatigue_PQ.jpg2. Limit overtime

Small business owners usually work long hours. Your employees don’t always have to. “Working more than a ‘regular shift’ on a long-term basis can be hard on people's physical and mental health, particularly if it means they aren’t getting sufficient sleep,” says Lindholst. Set a cap on the amount of hours employees work each day and discourage weekend work.

 

3. Create a nap room

A 20-minute nap boosts alertness and performance according to the National Sleep Foundation. Create a private space for employees to catch a quick nap during lunch or break time. An unused office or storage room with a couple sofas can suffice if space and budget are tight.

 

4. Get the team moving

Physical exercise counters the effects of sleepiness. Start a lunchtime walking group and consider holding walking or outdoor meetings when the weather permits. Encourage employees to stand, stretch, and walk throughout the day.

 

5. Use an app

Provide a sleep-enhancing app such as Sleep Cycle, which analyzes your sleep patterns. Sleepio uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help improve sleep. Restworks’ new app provides audio tips and tools to support healthy sleep habits.

 

6. Set a good example

Be a healthy-sleep-habits role model. Don’t send emails at odd hours. Save correspondence as drafts and send in the morning. Share your healthy sleep practices with staff. Also, notice your employees’ physical states. “We have employees with young children,” says Lindholst. “When I see employees who were obviously up most of the night, I encourage them to use our napping pod.”

 

If you notice your employees reaching liberally for the coffee, consider healthy sleep practices as part of your wellness plan. A more rested team is a more productive team, and that’s good for business and the bottom line.

 

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Touchpoint Media Inc. to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Touchpoint Media Inc. is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Touchpoint Media Inc. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.

 

©2016 Bank of America Corporation

TeamBuilding_Body.jpgBy Robert Lerose.

 

It's one thing for employees to do their jobs competently but without deep commitment. On the other hand, if you can spur them to reach beyond themselves, support one another, and feel a shared sense of achievement that benefits everyone, then you'll know how a cohesive team of workers can ignite and transform your business.

 

Xero, an on-demand global company that provides cloud-based accounting software, recommends these actions for growing and nurturing creative, success-driven teams.

 

1. Define your vision for the business

Share your goals for the business with your employees. When you let them in on your future plans, the kind of culture you want to create, and their role in what you want to achieve, they will feel included and begin to find ways to make your vision a reality.

 

2. Involve your employees from the start

Make your employees part of your business by giving them useful, responsible work from day one. Assign them projects that challenge their abilities and help them grow. Giving new hires a mentor will accelerate their progress. Praising employees for satisfactory results will build loyalty to each other and to your business.

 

TeamBuilding_PQ.jpg3. Designate their roles clearly

Let every employee know what they're responsible for—and what they're not—and hold them accountable. Spelling out their jobs in straightforward terms can keep things on track and reduce disagreements among employees about job functions. 

 

4. Set up team-building activities

Doing assigned work is certainly necessary, but allot some time for non-work related activities that foster relationships. It could be anything from outside group activities such as company softball games to more low-key events like serving soft drinks and snacks every Friday afternoon. Asking employees what kinds of activities they would like to do binds them more deeply to your business.

 

5. Show team members that you value them

Getting to know your employees one-on-one—such as finding out about their family life or hobbies—is a sure way to bond with them, as long as you respect their privacy and comply with the law. Find ways to help your employees grow and develop their skills. If you help them achieve their career goals, they will help you achieve your vision.

 

6. Give your team freedom

Once you set a goal, don't micro-manage your workers. Instead, state the goal, set the guidelines—then step back and let your team figure out how they will accomplish it. Show them that you trust their abilities, and they will work hard not to disappoint you.

 

Establishing an environment that respects and fosters team building can lead to faster, long-range success for your business.

 

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Touchpoint Media Inc. to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Touchpoint Media Inc. is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Touchpoint Media Inc. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.

 

©2016 Bank of America Corporation

Touchpoint

Hiring Seasonal Help

Posted by Touchpoint Nov 4, 2016
Retailers, restaurants, and other service businesses bring in up to 30 percent of their sales during the holidays, according to the National Retail Federation. Other businesses may experience a midyear surge or an unexpected sales boost from a new client or a merger.

 

To find quality employees that will help you make the most of a b usy season, think creatively and plan ahead. That means taking stock of the employees you have now—both full- and part-time—and determining where and when you’ll need additional help. Here are some of the items to start thinking a bout now, so you’re prepared when your busy season hits.

 

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Sources:
1: https://nrf.com/resources/consumer-data/holiday-headquarters
2: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/90-percent-of-holiday-shoppers-still-have-lists-wrap
3: http://research.nrffoundation.com/Default.aspx?pg=9004#.V7txHlefREw
4: http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20141203.htm

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Touchpoint Media Inc. to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only.
Touchpoint Media Inc. is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license.
The third parties within articles are used under license from Touchpoint Media Inc.
Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.
Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2016 Bank of America Corporation

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